Renewable energy requirement creates jobs, Berkeley study says

Source: By CHRIS MEGERIAN, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Monday, August 31, 2015

As lawmakers consider new measures to combat climate change, researchers at UC Berkeley released a study saying stronger renewable energy requirements would lead to new jobs.

From 2003 to 2014, renewable energy requirements created 52,000 “job years,” the study said. Up to 429,000 additional “job years” would be created if lawmakers approved higher standards.

Betony Jones, one of the study’s authors and the associate chair of the Don Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy, said meeting the proposed renewable energy target means the state would “really have to ramp up.”

The California Business Roundtable, which opposes the climate legislation, said the study is incomplete.

“It does not look at the rest of the economy — how much this will cost, what other jobs will be lost as energy costs increase, and what jobs will be lost as consumers pay more for energy and housing and less for other purchases,” said Rob Lapsley, the organization’s president.

Claire Conlon, a spokeswoman for De León, said the business roundtable represents the “old energy economy” and said the Berkeley study shows the senator’s legislation “will lay the groundwork for the workforce of tomorrow.”

“Californians know we have to move forward with building a sustainable clean energy economy,” Conlon said.